Ever been to Paddy’s Wigwam? October sees our intrepid musicians embarking upon the second leg of the Fauré Requiem Tour. We’ll be visiting yet more of our country’s most spectacular cathedrals. Encompassing a range of different architectural styles, some of these cathedrals sport thousand-year histories. whilst others offer green-fanged spiders and have cameos in famous horror movies. Curiously, weaving her way through this fact file is a naked lady on a horse.
• Coventry’s earliest cathedral, dedicated to St Mary, was founded as a Benedictine community by Leofric, Earl of Mercia, and his wife Godiva (of naked horseback fame) in 1043.
• On the night of 14 November 1940, the city of Coventry was devastated in a Blitz attack. The cathedral stonemason noticed that two of the charred medieval roof timbers had fallen in the shape of a cross. He set them up in the ruins where they were later placed on an altar of rubble along with the words ‘Father Forgive’ inscribed on the Sanctuary wall.
• Scenes from the classic horror film The Omen were filmed at the Cathedral, most notably the scene in which Damien sees the spire come into view and attempts to bite his mother, whilst frothing at the mouth.
• In 1952 the Cathedral launched a ‘Buy a Brick’ campaign to complete the nave, and more than 200,000 people bought a brick for 2s 6d (12½p) and inscribed it with their name
• Exeter Cathedral has the longest uninterrupted vaulted ceiling in England.
• The tube web spider Segestria florentina, notable for its metallic green fangs, can be found within the Cathedral’s outer walls.
• On 4 May 1942 an air raid took place over Exeter. The cathedral sustained a direct hit on the chapel of St James, completely demolishing it.
• The Cathedral dates from between 1093 and the early 16th century, although the site itself may have been used for Christian worship since the Roman era.
• The collegiate church, as it was then, was restored in 1057 by Leofric of Mercia and Lady Godiva (apparently they were very into Cathedral maintenance).
• A large Roman villa occupied much of the present-day Minster land.
• On 5 November 1711 the southwest spire was struck by lightning, and it is recorded that the eight bells melted and crashed to the Minster floor.
Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral
• The present Cathedral was designed by Sir Frederick Gibberd.
• It is sometimes known locally as “Paddy’s Wigwam” or the “Mersey Funnel”.
The Fauré Requiem Tour will be coming to a cathedral near you on the following dates:
Friday 11th October – Coventry Cathedral
Saturday 12th October – Guildford Cathedral
Wednesday 16th October – Exeter Cathedral
Friday 18th October – Chester Cathedral
Saturday 19th October – Southwell Minster
Saturday 26th October – Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral
We are also running two Come and Sing events in Guildford and Liverpool. These are opportunities for members of the public to join us for a performance of Tallis’ masterpiece, Spem in Alium. For more information, please visit the links below: